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Backgammon – Three Main Plans

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In very general terms, there are three fundamental tactics employed. You want to be able to switch tactics instantly as the action of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-deep wall of checkers, or at least as thick as you can manage, to barricade in the competitor's checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is judged to be the most acceptable tactic at the begining of the match. You can assemble the wall anyplace inbetween your eleven-point and your two-point and then move it into your home board as the match progresses.

The Blitz

This is comprised of locking your home board as quickly as possible while keeping your opposer on the bar. For example, if your challenger tosses an early 2 and moves one piece from your 1-point to your three-point and you then roll a 5-5, you will be able to play six/one 6/1 eight/three eight/three. Your challenger is then in big-time calamity taking into account that they have two pieces on the bar and you have closed half your inner board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have two or higher pieces in your opponent's inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at a minimum two of your pieces.) It should be played when you are significantly behind as this strategy much improves your opportunities. The best areas for anchors are towards your opponent's lower points and either on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is important for a competent backgame: at the end of the day, there's no point having two nice anchors and a solid wall in your own inner board if you are then forced to break down this straight away, while your challenger is getting their checkers home, considering that you do not have any other spare checkers to shift! In this case, it's more favorable to have pieces on the bar so that you can maintain your position until your competitor gives you a chance to hit, so it will be a great idea to attempt and get your competitor to hit them in this situation!

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